Close

Search

Search Menu
Photonics Media Photonics Buyers' Guide Photonics EDU Photonics Spectra BioPhotonics EuroPhotonics Industrial Photonics Photonics Showcase Photonics ProdSpec Photonics Handbook
More News
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
2016 Photonics Buyers' Guide Clearance! – Use Coupon Code FC16 to save 60%!
share
Email Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Comments

Astronomers Pinpoint Birth of Comet Hale-Bopp

Photonics.com
Jun 1999
GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER, June 21 -- A team of astrophysicists has produced the most precise measurement to date of a comet's ratio of carbon monoxide to water. As reported in the magazine Nature, the researchers, from the University of Notre Dame, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, and Rowan College in New Jersey, determined that the carbon monoxide/water ratio of the comet Hale-Bopp is 12 percent. The group made their observations of the giant comet in 1997-1998 using an infrared spectrometer on NASA's three-meter telescope at the Infrared Telescope Facility at the Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii. These observations suggest that the comet Hale-Bopp was likely formed in the region between Jupiter and Neptune some 4 billion years ago.
It's fundamentally important to know the amount and source of carbon monoxide, said Notre Dame's Terrence W. Rettig, associate professor of physics and a participant in the observations. These data provide our most comprehensive clues about where and how Hale-Bopp was formed and give us a better understanding of its history. Astronomers have been studying the visible attributes of comets for hundreds of years but until recently, infrared observations were not possible. In the past several years, infrared detectors have become much more efficient, making these observations now possible.


Comments
Terms & Conditions Privacy Policy About Us Contact Us
back to top

Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn YouTube RSS
©2016 Photonics Media
x We deliver – right to your inbox. Subscribe FREE to our newsletters.